I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit. John 15:5
'Beware! When you become a houseman you will fall away unless you keep links with other Christians'. Advice like this was frequent during my last year or so as a medical student -- and it rang true! However, here I was in a classically hectic house job with no Christian medical colleagues and very little off-duty for seeking fellowship. Would I be too busy to take time and listen to the Lord? Would the fascination of my medical work be too preoccupying to allow me to make the effort to be with his people? Would I slip out of his grasp on my life in the sometimes dubious atmosphere of the medical staff quarters?
Our Lord's words in John 15 were a powerful corrective to these anxious questions and negative attitudes. My calling was to 'abide in him', stay close to him, in the assurance of his presence and keeping. He, the Vine, was the source of life and strength to me -- one of his many, unique branches. The Father needed to prune me, to cut me down to size, but, as I took what opportunities I could for worship, fellowship, prayer and Bible study (all aids in 'abiding' in him), I had the continuing conviction of his power, not only to keep, but to help me lead a fruitful life.
Dear Father, be a Vinedresser in my life.
Help me, in today's busyness, to remember
I am a unique branch of the Vine and that,
although I need cutting down to size,
I am secure for ever as I stay close to Jesus,
strengthened and kept by the nourishment of your word
in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Further reading: Jn 10:27-30, 15:1-11.